Man faces life sentence after conviction for killing Metairie man

Man charged with murder of Metairie contractor

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A St. Charles Parish jury returned a guilty verdict Friday in the 2017 murder of Ryan Dubuc.

The twelve-member jury voted unanimously to convict Jerel Smith of second-degree murder and armed robbery, after less than an hour of deliberation.

Smith, 32, was arrested on January 11, 2017 following a homicide investigation conducted by the St. Charles Parish Sheriff s Office.

The trial lasted five days.

Detectives said Dubuc left his residence around 5:30 a.m. heading to his job at Cornerstone in Jefferson Parish, where he worked as a contractor. Dubuc stopped at Birdie's Food and Fuel in Luling where the suspect entered the 28-year-old victim's vehicle and left, officers said.

After the vehicle left the business, deputies believe Dubuc was robbed, carjacked and killed. His body was found on a side road near Hwy. 3160 in Hahnville.

Smith faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison for the murder. The armed robbery conviction carries a minimum sentence of ten years and a maximum of 99.

Those sentences are without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence.

Judge M. Lauren Lemmon ordered that Smith be held without bond pending his sentencing on June 14.